MLB Power Rankings: Astros and Rays Climb, Red Sox and Cubs Continue to Fall

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2022

MLB Power Rankings: Astros and Rays Climb, Red Sox and Cubs Continue to Fall

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    Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

    Another week, another wholesale shuffling of our MLB power rankings.

    There is a new No. 1 team for the third straight week, and the Tampa Bay Rays and Houston Astros are also surging up the rankings. A bit further down, the Chicago White Sox are showing signs of life after a precipitous slide in recent weeks.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Miami Marlins and Seattle Mariners both fell out of the top 15 after dreadful weeks, while the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs continue to edge ever closer to the bottom spot.

    As the season progresses, the rankings will look distinctly different from the MLB standings, as hot and cold streaks play a major factor in where teams land. But for now, each club's placement is largely reflective of its overall record.


    Note: All statistics and analysis in this article reflect games through Sunday. Team records have been updated to include Monday's results.

Nos. 30-26

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    Josh Bell
    Josh BellRonald Martinez/Getty Images

    30. Cincinnati Reds (6-23)

    Previous Rank: 30

    With a weekend series win over the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Reds nearly doubled their season win total, but they are still on pace for a staggering 133 losses. Right-hander Connor Overton has quietly been a nice addition to the rotation, allowing nine hits and three earned runs in 10.2 innings over his first two starts since joining the starting staff.


    29. Detroit Tigers (8-20)

    Previous Rank: 29

    The Tigers have lost five straight series, with a two-game split against the Pirates mixed in, and they entered play on Monday riding a five-game losing streak. A lack of offense has been the glaring issue, as they rank last in the majors in runs per game (2.89) and 29th in team OPS (.596).


    28. Chicago Cubs (10-18)

    Previous Rank: 21

    The Cubs went from surprisingly competitive to borderline unwatchable in the blink of an eye. Since their lopsided 21-0 victory over the Pirates on April 23, they've gone 2-10 with a minus-40 run differential. The offense has scored more than three runs just once during that 12-game stretch, and it's quickly shaping up to be a long season on the North Side.


    27. Kansas City Royals (9-17)

    Previous Rank: 28

    Since starting the season with a .128/.150/.231 line through his first 10 games, Bobby Witt Jr. is batting .308/.346/.423 in his last 55 plate appearances. Catcher MJ Melendez has also gone 3-for-9 with a double in his first taste of the big leagues. Success for the Royals this season will be more about individual player development than wins and losses as they build toward the future.


    26. Washington Nationals (10-20)

    Previous Rank: 27

    Teams are going to be lining up with offers for free-agent-to-be Josh Bell if he keeps hitting the way he has over the first month of the season. The switch-hitting first baseman is batting .343/.442/.529 for a 192 OPS+ with seven doubles, four home runs, 21 RBI and more walks (17) than strikeouts (12). With two more series losses last week, the Nationals are quickly trending in the direction of deadline sellers.

Nos. 25-21

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    Cedric Mullins
    Cedric MullinsG Fiume/Getty Images

    25. Boston Red Sox (10-19)

    Previous Rank: 22

    With a 4-14 record in their last 18 games, including a five-game losing streak to close out last week, the Red Sox are going nowhere fast. A high-powered offense on paper ranks 26th in the majors with a .621 OPS, and the bullpen has been absolutely brutal with nine blown saves in 14 chances. Could we see a summer fire sale if things don't turn around quickly?


    24. Oakland Athletics (11-18)

    Previous Rank: 18

    The Athletics were among the biggest early surprises with a 10-9 record following their offseason roster upheaval, but they have since suffered three straight series sweeps, and they were shut out twice last week while managing just one run two other times. Infielder Sheldon Neuse (100 PA, .304/.360/.413, 5 XBH) and reliever Dany Jimenez (11 G, 4/4 SV, 0.00 ERA, 11 K) have been among the few bright spots.


    23. Pittsburgh Pirates (12-16)

    Previous Rank: 23

    Two weeks ago, the Pirates closed out a series win over the Chicago Cubs to improve to 8-8 on the season. Since then, they have a 3-8 record with three series losses and a two-game split, and after dropping two of three to a floundering Cincinnati Reds team, they are in danger of slipping to the bottom five in next week's rankings.


    22. Baltimore Orioles (12-17)

    Previous Rank: 26

    After a slow start, Cedric Mullins is hitting .361/.378/.667 with five doubles and two home runs in his last eight games. This Orioles team might not be ready to contend in 2022, but they have been competitive in the early going, and it's only a matter of time before top prospect Adley Rutschman gets the call. For the first time in years, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel.


    21. Philadelphia Phillies (13-16)

    Previous Rank: 17

    The Phillies blew a 7-1 lead in the ninth inning against the New York Mets on Thursday, and Bryce Harper organized a players-only meeting in the aftermath. This team is too talented to be this mediocre, and their upcoming West Coast road trip to take on the Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Dodgers could prove to be a pivotal week in their season.

Nos. 20-16

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    Zac Gallen
    Zac GallenNorm Hall/Getty Images

    20. Texas Rangers (11-16)

    Previous Rank: 25

    The Rangers were 5-1 in their last six games entering play on Monday, and improved work from the rotation has been a big reason for their recent success. Martin Perez (5 GS, 2.25 ERA, 28.0 IP) and Dane Dunning (6 GS, 3.38 ERA, 32.0 IP) in particular have been great, and now it's up to the back of the rotation and the offense to get things going.


    19. Seattle Mariners (13-17)

    Previous Rank: 14

    Since going 0-for-5 with four strikeouts on April 21, rookie outfielder Julio Rodriguez is hitting .310/.375/.448 with five extra-base hits in 64 plate appearances over his last 16 games. However, while his performance is on the rise, the Mariners are headed in the wrong direction as a team with a 2-10 record in their last 12 games. They snapped a six-game losing streak with a 2-1 extra-inning victory on Sunday.


    18. Miami Marlins (13-16)

    Previous Rank: 11

    The Marlins climbed from No. 17 to No. 11 in last week's rankings on the strength of a seven-game winning streak, but they have gone just 1-7 since that streak was snapped, and they tumble back down to No. 18 this week as a result. Is it too soon to start talking about Jazz Chisholm Jr. as a breakout star?


    17. Atlanta Braves (14-16)

    Previous Rank: 20

    A 4-3 record last week might not jump off the page, but a four-game split on the road against the New York Mets and a series win at home over the Milwaukee Brewers was a solid showing for the defending champs. This feels like a team still trying to find its footing but destined to steadily climb these rankings in the coming weeks. With scheduled off days on Monday and Thursday this week, they'll have a chance to reset a bit.


    16. Arizona Diamondbacks (16-14)

    Previous Rank: 19

    How far can this starting rotation carry the D-backs? Led by the trio of Zac Gallen (5 GS, 0.95 ERA, 28.1 IP), Merrill Kelly (6 GS, 1.22 ERA, 37.0 IP) and Madison Bumgarner (6 GS, 1.50 ERA, 24.0 IP), they rank second in the majors with a 2.21 starters' ERA, and they picked up series wins over the Miami Marlins and Colorado Rockies last week.

Nos. 15-11

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    Juan Yepez
    Juan YepezTony Avelar/Associated Press

    15. Cleveland Guardians (15-14)

    Previous Rank: 16

    The Guardians have gone 7-2 over their last three series, including taking three of four from the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend. The offense has been better than expected with up-and-comers Owen Miller and Steven Kwan making an impact alongside MVP candidate Jose Ramirez. Plus, the rotation is solid, and the bullpen is rounding into form.


    14. Chicago White Sox (14-14)

    Previous Rank: 24

    After bottoming out in the No. 24 spot in the rankings last week, the White Sox are on the upswing following series sweeps on the road against the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox. Right-hander Dylan Cease is pitching like a Cy Young candidate, Vince Velasquez has been a pleasant surprise filling in for Lance Lynn, and closer Liam Hendriks has shaken off a rocky start.


    13. Colorado Rockies (16-13)

    Previous Rank: 10

    The Rockies will play six of their next nine games against a San Francisco Giants team that absolutely dominated them a year ago, going 15-4 with a plus-65 run differential. That's going to serve as a good early test to see whether their hot start is the real deal. Aside from a four-game sweep against the Philadelphia Phillies two weeks ago, they've looked the part so far.


    12. St. Louis Cardinals (16-12)

    Previous Rank: 12

    Led by Nolan Arenado offensively and Miles Mikolas on the pitching side, the Cardinals once again look like a legitimate contender in the NL Central. Slugger Juan Yepez was promoted from Triple-A to provide a boost, and he's gone 9-for-19 with three doubles, one home run and three RBI in his first five games. The 24-year-old is one to watch.


    11. San Francisco Giants (17-12)

    Previous Rank: 8

    The Giants stumbled through a 1-7 stretch before winning back-to-back games over the weekend to salvage a four-game split with the Cardinals. They were dealing with a minor COVID outbreak toward the end of April, but they're back to full strength now, and just in time to play nine of their next 12 games against the Rockies and Padres.

Nos. 10-6

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    Royce Lewis
    Royce LewisBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    10. Toronto Blue Jays (17-13)

    Previous Rank: 4

    The Blue Jays had not lost a series outright all year before dropping two of three to the New York Yankees and three of four to the Cleveland Guardians last week. Their current road trip continues this week with built-in off days on Monday and Thursday, giving them a prime opportunity to shake off a tough stretch and push back toward the top five.


    9. Minnesota Twins (18-11)

    Previous Rank: 9

    The Twins dealt with a ton of roster turnover last week amid injuries and a few positive COVID tests, but that did open the door for longtime top prospect Royce Lewis to make his MLB debut. Despite all of the turnover, they still managed a four-game split with the Baltimore Orioles and a three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics.


    8. Houston Astros (18-11)

    Previous Rank: 15

    The Astros went 7-0 last week, tossing three shutouts along the way. Two of those came with Jake Odorizzi as the starting pitcher, as he threw 11.2 scoreless innings. The Los Angeles Angels are playing well right now, but this is still the team to beat in the AL West with five straight postseason appearances under their belt. A nine-game road trip kicks off this coming week against the Minnesota Twins and Washington Nationals.


    7. Tampa Bay Rays (18-12)

    Previous Rank: 13

    After sweeping the Oakland Athletics and taking three of four against the Seattle Mariners, the Rays are once again pushing for a spot inside the top five. First baseman Ji-Man Choi was activated from the injured list on Sunday, and he's hitting .326/.456/.543 in 57 plate appearances on the year, so getting him back in the middle of the lineup is big.


    6. San Diego Padres (19-11)

    Previous Rank: 7

    The Padres are 9-3 in their last 12 games, and while they haven't had the toughest schedule during that span, you have to take care of business during those easier stretches to be a bona fide contender. Manny Machado is hitting .385/.460/.642 with seven doubles, seven home runs and 21 RBI while leading the NL in batting average, on-base percentage, hits (42), runs scored (26), total bases (70) and OPS+ (231).

Nos. 5-1

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    Rowdy Tellez
    Rowdy TellezIcon Sportswire/Getty Images

    5. Milwaukee Brewers (19-11)

    Previous Rank: 5

    The Brewers lost their first series of the year when they dropped two of three against the Atlanta Braves over the weekend, but with a plus-36 run differential, 3.25 ERA (sixth in MLB) and .710 OPS (10th in MLB) this team is a bona fide contender. Slugger Rowdy Tellez is swinging a hot bat in the middle of the lineup, and Christian Yelich is showing signs of finding his former MVP self.


    4. Los Angeles Angels (20-11)

    Previous Rank: 6

    The Angels are 11-4 with a plus-21 run differential in their last 15 games, and a vastly improved starting rotation that ranks 12th in the majors with a 3.60 ERA deserves a ton of credit. A healthy Mike Trout and breakout star Taylor Ward are anchoring the team's offensive attack, and Anthony Rendon delivered the walk-off hit against his old team on Sunday.


    3. New York Mets (20-10)

    Previous Rank: 2

    The Mets went 4-3 last week with a four-game split against the Atlanta Braves and a series win over the Philadelphia Phillies, and their win in the second game of Sunday's doubleheader made them the first team in baseball to 20 wins. The top three teams in these rankings right now represent baseball's top tier, and anyone could make a play for the No. 1 spot next week.


    2. New York Yankees (20-8)

    Previous Rank: 1

    After taking two of three from the Toronto Blue Jays to begin last week, the Yankees dealt with rain on Friday and Saturday before splitting a doubleheader with the Texas Rangers on Sunday. The offense has cooled off a bit with three or fewer runs scored in five of their last seven games, and taking some pressure off the pitching staff will be key going forward.


    1. Los Angeles Dodgers (19-8)

    Previous Rank: 3

    The Dodgers won six straight last week to climb back to the No. 1 spot in these rankings, with the pitching staff allowing just eight runs during that span. The starting rotation has gone 15-2 with a 1.83 ERA and 0.96 WHIP on the year, limiting opposing hitters to a .191 batting average. Given their offensive firepower, it's borderline unfair for their pitching to be so dominant.

Complete Rankings

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    Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

    Complete Rankings

    1. Los Angeles Dodgers
    2. New York Yankees
    3. New York Mets
    4. Los Angeles Angels
    5. Milwaukee Brewers
    6. San Diego Padres
    7. Tampa Bay Rays
    8. Houston Astros
    9. Minnesota Twins
    10. Toronto Blue Jays
    11. San Francisco Giants
    12. St. Louis Cardinals
    13. Colorado Rockies
    14. Chicago White Sox
    15. Cleveland Guardians
    16. Arizona Diamondbacks
    17. Atlanta Braves
    18. Miami Marlins
    19. Seattle Mariners
    20. Texas Rangers
    21. Philadelphia Phillies
    22. Baltimore Orioles
    23. Pittsburgh Pirates
    24. Oakland Athletics
    25. Boston Red Sox
    26. Washington Nationals
    27. Kansas City Royals
    28. Chicago Cubs
    29. Detroit Tigers
    30. Cincinnati Reds

Highlight of the Week: A Stellar Debut for George Kirby

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    George Kirby
    George KirbySteph Chambers/Getty Images

    The Seattle Mariners entered Sunday's game mired in a six-game losing streak and looking for something to snap them out of a week-long skid.

    Right-hander George Kirby proved to be that something in his MLB debut.

    "Heck of an outing from George," Seattle manager Scott Servais told reporters."It was a shot in the arm, which is exactly what we needed. Really wasn't expecting it. I didn't know what we were going to get out of the rookie in his first time out there, but could not have asked for more."

    The No. 20 prospect on Bleacher Report's Top 100 list to start the season, Kirby tossed six shutout innings in a no-decision, allowing four hits and zero walks while striking out seven.

    In parts of three minor league seasons, he logged a 2.34 ERA and 1.03 WHIP with 137 strikeouts in 115.1 innings, and with a mid-90s fastball, plus slider and solid changeup, he has the potential to slot alongside Logan Gilbert and Robbie Ray atop the Seattle rotation for the foreseeable future.

Team of the Week

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    Manuel Margot
    Manuel MargotIcon Sportswire/Getty Images

    C Keibert Ruiz, WAS
    (6-for-16, 2 2B, HR, 5 RBI)

    1B Rowdy Tellez, MIL
    (9-for-28, 4 2B, 3 HR, 12 RBI)

    2B Jazz Chisholm Jr., MIA
    (9-for-29, 3 2B, HR, 6 RBI)

    3B Manny Machado, SD
    (9-for-21, 3 HR, 5 RBI)

    SS Willy Adames, MIL
    (5-for-22, 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI)

    OF Manuel Margot, TB
    (12-for-24, 2 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 12 RBI)

    OF Cedric Mullins, BAL
    (9-for-27, 3 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI)

    OF Starling Marte, NYM
    (10-for-24, 3 2B, HR, 2 RBI)

    DH Jesus Aguilar, MIA
    (11-for-30, 3 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI)

    SP Dylan Cease, CWS
    (2 GS, W, ND, 12.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 19 K)

    SP Zac Gallen, ARI
    (2 GS, 2 W, 13.1 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 12 K)

    SP Jake Odorizzi, HOU
    (2 GS, 2 W, 11.2 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K)

    SP Shohei Ohtani, LAA
    (1 GS, W, 7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 11 K)

    SP Merrill Kelly, ARI
    (1 GS, W, 8.2 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K)

    RP Liam Hendriks, CWS
    (5 G, 5/5 SV, 5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K)

Way-Too-Early Award Rankings

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    Manny Machado
    Manny MachadoDenis Poroy/Getty Images

    AL MVP

    1. Mike Trout, LAA
    2. Jose Ramirez, CLE
    3. J.P. Crawford, SEA


    NL MVP

    1. Manny Machado, SD
    2. Nolan Arenado, STL
    3. Jazz Chisholm Jr., MIA


    AL Cy Young

    1. Logan Gilbert, SEA
    2. Justin Verlander, HOU
    3. Kevin Gausman, TOR


    NL Cy Young

    1. Pablo Lopez, MIA
    2. Carlos Rodon, SF
    3. Zac Gallen, ARI


    AL Rookie of the Year

    1. Jeremy Pena, HOU
    2. Steven Kwan, CLE
    3. Joe Ryan, MIN


    NL Rookie of the Year

    1. Seiya Suzuki, CHC
    2. MacKenzie Gore, SD
    3. Spencer Strider, ATL


    Stats courtesy of and Baseball Reference unless otherwise noted.